London

Battersea Evolution
8 September 2014
Lot 131

2006 Bentley Continental GTZ by Zagato

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£235,200 GBP | Sold

United Kingdom | London, United Kingdom

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Chassis No.
SCBCE63W66C038781
Engine No.
020874
  • A unique expression of 21st century coachbuilding
  • Single ownership from new
  • One of just nine examples produced
  • The first collaboration between Bentley and Zagato

552 bhp, 5,998 cc twin-turbocharged W-12 engine, six-speed automatic transmission, double wishbones with coil springs and an anti-roll bar, multi-line rear suspension with coil springs and adaptive dampers, and four-wheel ventilated disc brakes. Wheelbase: 2,746 mm

The Continental GT was the first new car Bentley produced under the ownership of Volkswagen, and it marked the beginning of a new era for the cars from Crewe. It was introduced to the public at the 2003 Geneva Motor Show and subsequently shown at exclusive events, such as the Goodwood Festival of Speed, later that year. The Continental GT was intended to lure new customers to the brand, as it carried all the pomp and circumstance of the company’s more traditional offerings but at a slightly lower price point. The car attracted lots of attention when it was first shown and even more attention in Bentley showrooms around the globe in the following months. Customers quickly added themselves to the car’s waiting list in anticipation. It was an enormous financial success for the new company, and it proved to be an excellent platform to bring Bentley into the 21st century, as it attracted new customers for the marque whilst simultaneously pleasing the more old-fashioned “Bentley boys”.

Five years later, Bentley returned to Geneva to launch a very special coachbuilt creation: the Continental GTZ. The Continental GTZ was the first collaboration between Bentley and the equally storied coachbuilder Zagato. It is said to be the result of a discussion between Dr Andrea Zagato and Dr Franz-Josef Paefgen, the former CEO of Bentley, where the two decided to create a car that hinted at Bentley’s rich history of coachbuilt creations but simultaneously offered a new, unique, and forward-thinking design. Whilst the Continental GT was already considered to be a very luxurious vehicle for upper echelons of high society, the Continental GTZ was intended to be more special in every way and a true classic for future generations of enthusiasts.

The automobile that resulted is nothing short of extraordinary, as it beautifully combines quintessential design elements from both Bentley and Zagato. Even though it shares the same basic shape and proportions of the Continental GT, all of the bodywork is unique to the GTZ, and the only components on the exterior that are carried over from the donor Bentley are its signature quad-headlights. The elongated front grille, along with Zagato’s trademark double-bubble roof, gives the car a much more masculine and bespoke appearance than the standard Continental GT. Inside, only minor styling changes were made to Bentley’s already wonderfully designed and luxurious interior, such as a Zagato “Z” motif embroidered on the seats, whilst the rest of the interior remains awash in exquisite leather, veneer, and aluminium.

The current and sole owner of this Continental GTZ purchased it as a standard 2006 Continental GT from Jack Barclay’s Bentley distributorship in London, and after owning and driving the car for a few years, it was sent to Zagato to be converted to Continental GTZ specifications in 2009, at an additional cost of €500,000. The owner chose the colour combination for the car with subtlety in mind, and its light green paint over dark green leather interior creates an air of quintessential British elegance. Inside, machine-turned aluminium trim and a wood-rimmed steering wheel perfectly complement the sumptuous leather. This Continental GTZ has been a resident of London for its entire life, and it has been properly serviced and maintained by Jack Barclay’s both before and after it returned from Zagato. It is truly in impeccable cosmetic and mechanical condition. It has travelled just over 4,000 miles from new, and following a recent service and MOT examination, it is ready for its next custodian.

Zagato has already produced a plethora of wonderful automobiles in the 21st century, and the company will surely continue to produce coachbuilt automobiles for the world’s most discerning clients. It has been at the forefront of 21st century coachbuilding, and Zagato-styled automobiles have a unique flair that separates them from other coachbuilt creations. This Continental GTZ features single ownership from new and is truly a remarkable automobile. It is a wonderful example of the rebirth of custom coachwork in the 21st century, yet it is still practical enough to be used as a daily driver. It is a delightful combination of stately British luxury with a touch of Italian flair.